Lost 1993 Cassette Mixtape Resurfaces in Swedish Art Exhibition

TFW a mixtape you made at age twelve turns up in a Stockholm gallery.

For most music lovers of a certain age, cassette mixtapes were more than just a collection of songs on a now outdated, albeit still beloved, medium. From the efforts exerted in making them (including the always important handcrafted cover art) to the thematic intentions behind them, they were a rite of passage.

When Stella Wedell was just twelve years old in 1993, she made one such mixtape to take along on a summer trip to Costa Brava and Mallorca. Like so many mixtapes made over the years, it got lost somewhere along the way. Unlike most of them, Wedell would find hers again—twenty-five years later as part of an art exhibit in Stockholm, Sweden.

British artist Mandy Barker found the tape washed up on the shores of Fuerteventura in 2017, a good 1,200 miles from where it went missing. Barker had the tape restored to working order and used it as part of her traveling exhibit, “Sea of Artifacts.”

“When I was reading the tracklist, it seemed very familiar to me. So I took a picture of it and compared it with the original CD from 1993, which I still have—and it was exactly the same tracklist, but starting with track three,” Wedell told Yahoo News. “I remember that I didn’t like the first two songs on the CD because I felt they were too old so I wouldn’t have included them when I recorded the mixtape aged 12. I always made tapes from my CDs at this time to listen to them with my Walkman, especially for holidays, and to think that a tape I could have lost more than 20 years ago had been found was incredible.”

Wedell has since contacted Barker, who promises to return the tape at the end of the exhibit’s tour. See the tracklist below, and listen to track 15, The Beloved’s “Sweet Harmony.”

1. ‘Somebody Dance With Me’ (Radio Mix) – DJ Bobo
2. ‘Would I Lie To You?’ – Charles & Eddie
3. ‘The Jungle Book Groove’ – Disney Cast
4. ‘Rock With You’ – Inner Circle
5. ‘Do You See The Light’ – Snap
6. ‘One Love’ (Radio Version) – Dr Alban
7. ‘More And More’ – Captain Hollywood Project
8. ‘Oh Carolina’ (Radio Version) – Shaggy
9. ‘The Key, The Secret’ (Glamorously Developed Edit) – Urban Cookie Collective
10. ‘It Keeps Rainin’ (Tears From My Eyes)’ – Bitty McLean
11. ‘Summer Summer’ (Radio Edit) – Loft
12. ‘Never Let Her Slip Away’ – Undercover
13. ‘Power Of American Natives’ – Dance 2 Trance
14. ‘Iron Lion Zion’ (7” Mix) – Bob Marley & The Wailers
15. ‘Sweet Harmony’ – The Beloved
16. ‘Give It Up’ – Cut ‘n’ Move
17. ‘Go West’ – Pet Shop Boys
18. ‘Runaway Trai’n – Soul Asylum
19. ‘(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You’ – UB40
20. ‘Mr Vain’ – Culture Beat

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